Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
I have been so busy that I have not been able to post anything in a few days nor have the time to get an new host and rebuild this blog. Many people have suggested fixes to recover the “classic editor” function on WordPress but I have not been able to make any of them work. However, I got a lot accomplished and woe betide me I am now 61* years old. Believe me 61* is not the new 41*.
Last week I managed to file my appeal of my VA disability claim, got a lot done at work, a bit done in the house and Judy and I are actively trying to buy a new home. We have an offer on a beautiful home in a primarily African American historic district in Norfolk which was accepted. Considering how tight the housing market is it was practically miraculous. I saw it online the day it listed and we toured it that afternoon and made our offer.
The home is only 11 years old but looks like it was designed to fir in with the older historic homes that populate the neighborhood. We could not have gotten a crappy tract home in Virginia Beach for what we offered for this mini-mansion. In the the mean time I have an amazing real estate agent who is working her ass off for us. She used to flip homes and is an experienced interior decorator. She is helping us get our townhome ready to put on the market. Likewise we have a great contractor who just retired from the Navy doing a lot of the work. We met him through a mutual friend who bragged on him. I figure that we will be ready to put the place on the market in a couple of weeks which lines up with the owners of the home we are buying.
We shouldn’t have any problem selling as homes like are in our neighborhood are being snapped up within days of listing. I was told by our friend who runs the office at our homeowners association that homes like ours are having bidding wars for them and she knows the improvements that we have already made to the home. They sell fast and I expect that ours will go higher than most, our realtor thinks she can get $250,000 for a home that we bought just before the last home bubble burst for 205,000. With the equity we have that should help us a lot with a couple of things we want want to do with the new home.
I am loving work and the Principal of my school and I are talking about adding to my course load next year to take advantage my unique skill sets in teaching advanced placement American and European History as well as electives on American Slavery, Emancipation, Reconstruction, the return to White Rule of Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement, one on World War II, and maybe one on the Holocaust. That is exciting for me because my students are very bright, motivated and come from a a number of different social, cultural, racial, national, and religious or non-religious backgrounds.
The past week and a half week we had our final third quarter presentations and projects and I prepared study guides and tests for my Renaissance and Reformation class, and early American History to the Civil War. Since the previous teacher spent most of her time on literature of the periods versus history and how those literary classics help us understand the times, I had to use my time to catch them up so that during the fourth quarter I am not doing a massive data dump but we can use time for reading, reflection, films or videos, special topics, and diving deep into particular subjects. They will still get all the historical lecture material but now it will be connected to the books required by the school, and let me tell you the reading list is amazing. I can guarantee that most college graduates haven’t read half of what they are to read before the matriculate. I am also finding the joys of navigating a blended classroom with students attending in person and others by zoom, and trying to get homework assignments and tests from the zoom students by email. The past week I have been grading tests, papers, projects and making lesson plans. Please do not tell me that teachers have easy jobs. The amount of time one spends off campus doing the job is huge. That is one reason I haven’t been posting much on this site.
Call me old fashioned but I am now seeing the damage that COVID-19 is doing to the education of our children. It is not good and I don’t know how many will recover from over a year of being out of classes trying to deal with varying means of online learning. Our students are better off than most, but kids in poor public school districts, and rural areas without decent internet connectivity have almost no chance. COVID-19 has exposed the massive inequalities of our educational systems.
Well, sixty-one years ago last weekend almost I emerged from my mother’s womb to take my first breaths of life on this planet. I was up working on my gargantuan test for my early American history students until almost 5 AM on Friday. I spent much of the weekend grading and communicating with my zoom students. Next week we have our spring break and we will have my contractor in to do the work to get the house ready to sell. I believe that tomorrow night I will bet the pictures scanned for my book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory and sent to my agent and publisher. I hope to get my list of influencers for the book to my agent next week and begin work on the website to promote the book and depending on time find a new site for this blog as I still absolutely hate the new WordPress Block editor and nothing anyone has suggested to get back to the classic editor has worked.
Tomorrow is another day in class and posting the grades for the quarter. Thursday, I have just one class and Friday is a half day.
be doing some prep work on the house this weekend but to,spend some time doing things I have to do concerning the book, the blog, my job, and setting up an LLC to do my military history staff rides and Holocaust Remembrance visits and to make some introductions with politicians, government officials, pastors and community organizers in Norfolk. Likewise I want to follow up with local universities as far as teaching and find another Masters or a PhD. program that would interest me to use my Post Iraq GI Bill to get three years of tax free housing allowance while in school.
Anyway, I need to get to bed. Thank you for your patience as I have had so little time for blogging or social media. There are so many things that I want to write about but until we get a 32 hour day and 9 day week I don’t know when they will happen.